1. Establish goals People accomplish the most when they have a clear set of objectives. It follows that any group's first order of business is to write down exactly what it hopes to achieve.
2. Think systematically Observe your next meeting: people typically plunge right into the topic at hand and start arguing over what to do. Effective leaders, by contrast, learn to think systematically--that is, they gather and lay out the necessary data, analyze the causes of the situation, and propose actions based on this analysis.
3. Learn from experience while it's happening Teams often plow ahead on a project, then conduct a review at the end to figure out what they learned. But it's more effective for teams (or individuals) to learn as they go along. Anyone who prompts the group to engage in regular mini reviews and learn from them is playing a de facto leadership role.
4. Engage others A high-performing team engages the efforts of every member, and effective team leaders seek out the best fit possible between members' interests and the tasks that need doing. Suggest writing down a list of chores and matching them up with individuals or subgroups. If no one wants a particular task, brainstorm ways to make that task more interesting or challenging .
5. Provide feedback If you're not the boss, what kind of feedback can you provide? One thing that's always valued is simple appreciation--"I thought you did a great job in there." Sometimes, too, you'll be in a position to help people improve their performance through coaching. Effective coaches ask a lot of questions: "How did you feel you did on this part of the project?" They recognize that people may try hard and fail